Monday meal planning: 5 tips for success

1

 Have you ever seen an adult woman throwing an all-out temper tantrum? You know, the kind where she burns anyone near her with the flames projecting from her eyes, the items in her arms get used as weaponry, and/or she flails herself on the bed cursing any variety of events that would make any sane-minded person merely scoff? Well…Evan met a version of this medusa after my first experience with meal planning. I have since reclaimed composure, learning a few ‘what not to do’s’ in the process and educating myself on how meal planning can be less like a day at the DMV and even borderline enjoyable.

1. Enjoy at least one green smoothie everyday. If the rest of your day is filled with oreos and italian food, at least you can say you made this one nutritious choice. Chances are if you begin your day with a nutrient-packed smoothie you will have more of the confidence and energy to keep the healthy momentum going!  The best part of a smoothie is you can change it up everyday to add variety to your routine and, since your body is able to more quickly digest liquid food, it will aid in digestion, ensure hydration, and empower your immune system while giving you instant energy due to the fructose absorption from the fruit. If you don’t already, go out RIGHT NOW and purchase a Vitamix. It is the best investment you will every make. Our typical smoothie includes:

 

  • 1/2 – 1 cup of frozen fruit: blueberries, strawberries, pineapple
  • 1/2 – 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup greens: spinach or kale
  • 1/2 non-dairy milk: coconut or almond
  • 1 – 2 tbsp brown rice protein
  • 1/2 – 1 scoop Vega performance protein powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp chia seeds
2. Cook up a few signature nutritious items.  In the real world where we are always either coming or going with an extreme sense of urgency, leaving a gap between good intentions and desired outcomes. Translation: no time to cook and you end up eating large portions of sugar cereal and crying. Bridge that gap folks, and take some time on a day off to cook a few items such as:
3.  Build your menu around the seasonal ingredients you buy, not around recipes. Doing this step in reverse was exactly what lead to the tantrum. Searching for recipes first and/or choosing more then 1-2 actual recipes will just lead to less flexibility if the week gets zany, a long list of ingredients, and an expensive trip to the store while potenentially leaving you with items that don’t get used. Beside the extras for step 5, shop for the low cost items then use a recipe builder if you have time to cook. The vegetables and fruits ripe in April are:
  • Zucchini
  • Rhubarb
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Spring peas
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Pineapples
  • Mangoes
4. Every meal should include: A bean, a green, and a grain. Follow step 2 and achieving this balance should be easy.  Our go-to combination is just making a rice bowl with our pre-made ingredients such as: brown rice with black beans, tofu, sweet potato, and kale then topped with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and Yumm Sauce.
5.  Make one dish meant for a family dinner. Pick what sounds like fun to make and fun to eat, and commit one day to cooking a sit down meal such as this amazingly creamy Cosmic Kate:

COSMIC CASHEW KALE AND CHICKPEAS W/ CONFETTI QUINOA

FOLLOW LINK ABOVE TO A TRUE HAPPY MEAL

Straight up "EUREKA" yo.

 

Happy meal planning, and be sure to share your ideas with us…we would love to feature your recipes and stories!

 

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One comment on “Monday meal planning: 5 tips for success

  1. [...] Recipe, Vegan • Tags: gluten- free, vegan, weekly meal planning Graduating from last week’s advice about less is more in meal planning, this week you are visiting the more assertive style of meal [...]

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